Inventory Clerk Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Inventory Clerk, or Inventory Associate, keeps track of the goods and supplies in a store or warehouse and manages orders to facilitate sales or production. Their duties include signing off on shipments, counting the number of available products and placing orders for more inventory according to demand.

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Inventory Clerk duties and responsibilities

Inventory Clerks record inventory for a company so that items are accurately stocked and stored where they belong. Some of their daily responsibilities include:

  • Ordering inventory from vendors and suppliers and securing shipment arrival times
  • Managing inventory by stocking and cataloging products for a business
  • Performing quality checks on stored inventory and discarding inventory that does not meet the company’s standards
  • Updating inventory count and maintaining inventory records to share with management and other stakeholders in the business
  • Reporting discrepancies in inventory that indicate theft, such as too little inventory at last count
  • Implementing loss prevention programs to prevent theft
  • Obtaining estimates and price details from different vendors to compare costs
  • Researching the accuracy of product details and testing new products

What does an Inventory Clerk do?

Inventory Clerks work at warehouses and retail outlets to make sure that other employees have the supplies, raw materials or products necessary for optimal business operations. They determine the appropriate inventory controls for a business by determining how much of each type of equipment or merchandise they usually sell or use throughout the workweek. Inventory Clerks stock and count supplies and report any differences between the actual count and the stock levels in company records. They identify damaged, returned or mis-ordered inventory and fill out the appropriate paperwork for inventory write-offs.

Inventory Clerk skills and qualifications

In order to effectively manage a business’s incoming and outgoing flow of products and supplies, an Inventory Clerk should have the following skills:

  • Ability to use inventory computer programs to update counts and compile reports, such as spreadsheets
  • Mathematical and analytical skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Physical strength 
  • Physical stamina
  • Excellent dexterity
  • Attention to detail and organizational skills

Inventory Clerk salary expectations

No salary data could be found on Indeed Salaries for Inventory Clerk, but an Inventory Associate, a similar position, makes an average of $13.06 per hour. This pay rate may vary depending on a candidate’s education and level of experience.

Inventory Clerk education and training requirements

Inventory Clerk positions typically require a high school diploma or GED certificate. Though a college degree isn’t required, some companies prefer candidates who have completed an associate or bachelor’s degree or taken some college classes. Courses that focus on business math skills, business communication skills, accounting and human resources with a supervisory focus are useful for Inventory Clerks. Some employers also look for applicants who have enhanced their inventory knowledge with a certification, such as the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential offered by APICS, the Association for Supply Chain Management.

Inventory Clerk experience requirements

Much of the training for Inventory Clerk positions is done on the job. Employers typically look for Inventory Clerks with 1 to 5 years of experience working in a stockroom or other inventory positions, like Store Clerk or Warehouse Worker, though this may be less necessary if they have more education. Some organizations also look for candidates with supervisory experience, and Inventory Clerks who have computer and software experience are often sought out as well.

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Frequently asked questions about Inventory Clerks

 

What is the difference between an Inventory Clerk and a Stocker?

There is some overlap between the duties of a Stocker and an Inventory Clerk, but Inventory Clerks have a more administrative role while Stockers handle the physical management of inventory needs. Inventory Clerks can help count items and stock shelves, but they also manage the paperwork and schedules for re-orders. Stockers focus on moving large amounts of inventory from storage to the sales floor or rearranging shelves to optimize efficiency. Inventory Clerks and Stockers communicate to identify when a shelf is almost empty, address quality issues with the merchandise and determine the most efficient way to shelve incoming goods.

 

What are the qualities of a good Inventory Clerk?

Good Inventory Clerks are extremely detail-oriented so they can catch discrepancies when inspecting inventory orders and counting supplies. They have excellent logical reasoning and strategic thinking skills which they use to order the correct amount of inventory to cover demand without leaving behind wasted goods. Successful Inventory Clerks are also great at spotting patterns, allowing them to see which products are most popular and could benefit from more frequent re-orders and which sit on the shelves for a long period of time. They’re good at basic mental math which helps them process and confirm orders.

 

What is the typical day of an Inventory Clerk?

Inventory Clerks usually work during regular business hours, but may also work overnight shifts and overtime during routine inventory counts and periods of high-volume orders. When a new shipment comes in, they check the receipt, inspect the inventory and perform an initial count to confirm that they have the correct goods before signing off on the delivery. They delegate tasks to ensure that supplies and equipment get to their proper place at the right time. Inventory Clerks use inventory management software to track the flow of goods according to business expectations.

 

What should you look for on an Inventory Clerk's resume?

When hiring an Inventory Clerk, look for experience in warehouse and retail environments where employees have direct involvement in the supply chain. Strong candidates have a background in logistics that they can apply to managing supplies. As you review applications, look for resumes that mention organization skills to find candidates that are already good at keeping track of multiple priorities at once. Familiarity with software databases can also be beneficial, indicating that the candidate will be easy to train in whichever system you use at your business.

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